But­ler’s in­sight in­forms artist’s work

Auck­lan­der adds flavour to fes­ti­val

Waitaki Herald - - CLASSIFIED - The Steam­punk 2015 fes­ti­val is on this week­end and among the at­trac­tions is an ex­hi­bi­tion by Auck­land artist Gavin Hip­kins.

Well-known Auck­land artist Gavin Hip­kins is bring­ing a spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tion to the For­rester Gallery for Steam­punk 2015.

The ex­hi­bi­tion ex­plores a key chap­ter in Sa­muel But­ler’s 1872 book Erewhon, called – The Book of the Ma­chines.

Gallery direc­tor Jane Mack­night said the ex­hi­bi­tion is very much about an as­pect of steam­punk.

‘‘ Sa­muel But­ler be­lieved that ma­chines would evolve to de­velop con­scious­ness and en­slave hu­man­ity,’’ Mack­night said.

‘‘This ex­hi­bi­tion ex­plores But­ler’s ideas through photography and film.’’

Hip­kins said But­ler’s po­etic med­i­ta­tions on industrial so­ci­ety and colo­nial­ism re­main a timely re­flec­tion on con­tem­po­rary so­ci­ety and our tech­no­log­i­cal de­pen­den­cies.

In his own words But­ler said the ad­vent of ma­chin­ery is charged with sin­is­ter im­port to the en­tity of man – phys­i­cal, in­tel­lec­tual, moral.

The ex­hi­bi­tion con­sists of still pho­to­graphs pre­sented along­side a 26-minute ex­tract from the full fea­ture length film which was a fi­nal­ist in the 2014 New Zealand Film Awards.

The film was also shown at the 2014 Ed­in­burgh Fringe Fes­ti­val.

Parts of the film were shot in North Otago.

The artist will be in town to give a talk for Steam­punk 2015 and Mack­night en­cour­ages ev­ery­one to come along.

‘‘ Gavin will speak For­rester Gallery at Fri­day 29 May.

‘‘The talk is spe­cially timed so lo­cals and steam­punk vis­i­tors can at­tend the talk then head to the precinct for the Oa­maru on Fire cel­e­bra­tions.’’

The For­rester Gallery has also put to­gether a small mash-up dis­play of steam­punk art­work from its per­ma­nent col­lec­tion for this year’s steam­punk fes­ti­val. at the 5.30pm,

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